25 January 2023
Opening at Science City Hamburg-BahrenfeldExhibition Focuses on Sexualized Violence and Misguided Victim-Blaming
Photo: Emely Unger
Victims of sexual assault are often asked about what they were wearing when they were attacked. This suggests that they were partially to blame for the assault. The exhibition What Were You Wearing? wants to provide help, facts, and greater understanding. The exhibition countered victim-blaming and misguided questions and displayed articles of clothing that reflect what victims were wearing when assaulted. This gave some insight into the victims’ feelings, making clear which questions are hurtful and which statements can help. “At universities, too, where there are strong dependencies between individuals, there are problematic behaviors,” says the cluster’s spokesperson Prof. Dr. Klaus Sengstock. “So we take these topics very seriously and work intensively on creating a safe and welcoming environment for all of our members and to sensitize them to the entire spectrum of issues.”
The curator is the marketing manager Emely Unger. She was the victim of sexual assault and has decided, 10 years later, to illuminate the topic in the form of an exhibition. For the cases highlighted, she did research in northern Germany and created the exhibition together with René Unger. The exhibition as presented here was seen for the first time in Kiel in April 2021.
The exhibition ran from 31 January to 23 February, Mondays through Fridays, 11 am to 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. It was free and open to the public. It included many workshops on the topic. The Cluster of Excellence CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter; the Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe; the contact for advice and support for employees of Universität Hamburg in cases of sexual discrimination and harassment, DESY, the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, the European XFEL GmbH, PIER, and science and beλond—the LGBTIQU* network.